We have been parenting for over a year now, but this last weekend definitely added a new meaning to parenting for me.
Parenting is generally awesome and fun and full of giggles. On a daily basis it is also full of making decisions about how to raise your child, from teaching healthy habits and good manners to figuring out how to discipline.
Parenting is also about putting the needs of your child above the desires of yourself. Generally that comes pretty naturally since no one wants a crying child around and as much as sitting and reading a book in a quiet room sounds nice, you clearly aren't going to leave your child in another room for several hours without food or drink and a dirty diaper.
Sometimes parenting challenges you to step up and put aside those desires and make life as easy and happy as possible for your child. Like this weekend for example.
Every summer, for my whole life, a bunch of my family meets up at Lake McConaughy in Nebraska to go camping and swimming and hang out. It is absolutely one of my favorite weeks of the year and I love being out there floating on the lake and catching up with everyone.
This year was an especially big year since a lot of family that isn't always able to come to the lake were going and one of my cousins was bringing out her two four month old identical twin boys that I still have not been able to meet yet. Vander also has a little cousin his age and I was so excited to see them play together and enjoy getting dirty in the sand. I was pretty well stoked for the trip.
Then Friday morning Vander was acting grumpy, where as he is generally pretty happy in the mornings, a little clingy, but happy. He felt a little warm and had a very slight fever (99ish), but he has been working on this third and fourth molars so we weren't too concerned and sent him off to daycare. At 10:45 I got a call that Vander had a fever of 102.3 and was pulling at his right ear so I needed to go pick him up. I was already planning to leave at noon to get the car loaded for camping, but instead I left even a little earlier and after he napped some more took Vander to the doctor.
He was diagnosed with a moderate ear infection in his right ear and with a raw, sore throat. They gave us amoxicillin and told us to keep them updated if anything else happened. Based on how sad and out of it Vander was before the doctor I was pretty sure we weren't going to be going camping, but after the diagnosis we decided to at least wait until Saturday and see how he slept and dealt with the medicine.
The next day, after not especially sleeping well, Vander took an early nap and we figured camping wasn't meant to be since Vander wouldn't be up for having much fun. We definitely made the right decision.
That afternoon we noticed spots on Vander's legs. My concern was he was having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin. We called the doctor and he said since he wasn't itching it and it wasn't acting like hives he didn't think it was a reaction but to keep an eye on it. After bath time we saw blisters pop up on his feet and we knew we were in the clear for an allergic reaction since that meant it was hand, foot and mouth disease, which had been going around daycare.
I did my WebMD search and talked to the nurses line that night and then he doctor the next morning. He was relieved it wasn't an allergic reaction and told us about how prevalent the disease is, but that he shouldn't be contagious after his fever was over.
Vander has ended up with terrible blisters on his feet, a couple on his hands and a rash in his arms, legs and genitals. There is really nothing you can do for it besides give painkillers to relieve the uncomfortableness. Vander has been a rock star and seems like he has been almost totally fine the last two days. This weekend there was a lot of sleeping and an especially lot of cuddle time. That was the best part, and also how we knew he was so sick, because he was cuddling and sitting in our laps instead of running around like the busy toddler he normally is.
In the end, although it was a sad decision, and a bit of a tough choice, it was good that we didn't go to Lake McConaughy. Dylan said Friday I could go out by myself, but I absolutely didn't want to leave my poor little munchkin without his mommy! It would have been miserable to take him and try to deal with the heat and dirt on top of a child who is already in bad shape.
That is exactly what parenting is some days, making the hard choices and making this cute little bundle of love your number one priority.